Kristin is originally from Michigan, resides in Oregon, and is currently on sabbatical in Los Angeles with her family. This would stress out many, but Kristin is taking control of the situation and even homeschooling her son! We knew that she was going to be perfect for this blog, but we weren’t sure how we would do the actual interview. Thus, she is our first write-in interview!
Kristin has been a mom for eight years to a strong, independent, awesome little boy. She is constantly giving her son new experiences and you can easily tell that it’s making him an awesome human being.
We are thrilled that she wanted to be a part of this and appreciate her taking the time to send us her answers and some pictures. She very much deserves the title of ‘mom of fame’. Enjoy!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
This isn’t really a piece of advice, per se, but it was the best information someone gave me before I had [my son]. When I was pregnant, a couple of friends who had a baby a few years before told me that parenthood was going to be a million times harder than I expected–and I already expected it to be hard. They were totally nice about it, just realistic. And they were totally right. I’m glad I had a little warning ahead of time. Motherhood ended up being way harder than I even expected knowing that. That’s still what I tell people all the time when they’re pregnant–in a nice way–how hard it is. But I also tell friends how I wasn’t prepared for how amazing the joy of parenthood is either. I never knew I could experience so much joy.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
Motherhood is way more all consuming than I expected. My mom had 3 kids, worked, and managed to remain sane and happy (although she says in retrospect, she almost lost her sanity eventually…). So I figured I could totally manage it too. I had done a fair amount of babysitting and had tons of younger cousins, so I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. But, until my son went to kindergarten, I feel like I barely had a second to myself for six years. I hadn’t planned to be a stay at home mom when I got pregnant, but due to job and location related circumstances, I ended up staying home with my son for six years instead of going back to work. I did some freelance work on nights and weekends, but not too much. Staying at home with an energetic, strong-willed child who was not a great napper was so hard. Even with mom friends around, spending all day every day taking care of an active small person for six years was exhausting. At the same time, I never felt like time went by too fast like many people do. I appreciate that I was able to spend tons of quality time with my kiddo when he was little. And after a particularly rough year when he was a “threenager,” things got easier.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
When my kiddo was three, there was one day were I couldn’t handle him not listening to me anymore. He was three, so he was stubborn and was still learning how to be a good listener. I was asking him to stop some sort of negative behavior at home and he just wouldn’t. I called my parents in Michigan in tears and asked them to keep him busy with FaceTime for a few minutes and called my husband to ask him to come home from work. That’s not something I would typically do, but I just needed someone else to take over right then. Luckily it was almost the end of the day and he was able to come home. It’s really difficult not having a family support system in town to help out at times like those.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
I used to feel like I lost more of myself when my son was younger and I hardly had time to myself and didn’t go out much, but things got better as he got older. Sure it’d be great to go out wherever I want, whenever I want, but I feel a lot more like myself now that he’s in school. I’ve gained a lot as a mother, though. As I mentioned before, I never knew I could feel so much joy in my life. But having a child has been so incredibly joyful–from hearing him laugh for the first time and hearing him start to speak sentences to watching him try to figure out the world and expressing his imagination. Motherhood has also given me an improved relationship with my work. I used to obsess and stress over my writing so much, and while I still love my work and I’m still technically a perfectionist. I don’t stress out as much because it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Now with a family, I realized there is more to life than work.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
I mostly want my child to learn to be a kind person (which he is already showing he is).
What is it like homeschooling your son? What challenges or positives are you running into?
I’m homeschooling [my son] for a couple months while my husband is on sabbatical in L.A. because it seemed like too short of a time to put him in school here. I definitely would not homeschool for any longer than this because I’m not cut out to be a teacher (Bless all the teachers out there for their patience and hard work!!), but it’s been fun for a short time. We get to focus on exploring things he’s interested in (like math) and things that I think it’d be good to have him learn (like civil rights, women’s suffrage, art). It’s super fun to go on field trips to museums and bookstores! It’s also pretty tiring to try to keep him busy for 12 hours a day again.